Monday, January 09, 2006

Caregiving: wheelchair accessible vehicles

Recently shopping for a wheelchair accessible vehicle I compiled and more importantly “condensed” some useful information and links. 

Turning Automotive Seating (TAS) by Bruno

… NO LIFT – NO RAMP! The seat does the work! The seat extends out of the vehicle. You transfer into the actual car seat. With the push of a button it picks you up and places you back in the vehicle.  

… Now this is COOL! Regrettably Patti’s level of disability is probably too progressed. In theory you should be able to transfer. However, we found a shop that is installing one in a vehicle and they are going to let Patti “try it out” later this week. One never knows, do one?

… MORE vehicle options this way because it can be installed in sedans, SUVs, wagons, crossovers, minivans, pickup trucks and full-size vans.

… Out of curiosity, I got a quote of $6,000 fully installed.

… TAS seat can also be removed to restore your vehicle to its original condition for resale.

A WheelchairJunkie's Guide to Wheelchair Accessible Vans

Used Accessible Vans: A Case Study in Logic

… “ is about mobility, not manufacturers …”, “wheelchair gonzo”, Mark E. Smith’s website is worth a visit any day.


… national resource of regional magazines for dealers and classified ads for accessible vans, wheelchairs, scooters, homes, etc

... enables you to "localize" the Internet <grin>

… also a collection of interesting and insightful ‘featured’ articles

… awesome collection of ‘links’ for accessibility products

Some thoughts…

     Most vehicle manufacturers offer accessibility modification incentives. However they seem to be linked only to ‘new’ vehicle purchases and rarely exceed $1,000. That will get you very little in the way of accessibility modifications and considering how much value a vehicle looses in the first year the “incentives” I’ve seen so far would be more like “fool’s gold” for us.

     Shopping for a used ‘accessible’ vehicle is maddening because our customized needs are totally different than the previous owner’s customized modifications. Where did the assumption get started that all disabled people are the same? Probably from some well intended able bodied sales person. <grin>

     LOGIC would say buy the ‘previously owned’ vehicle you want and customize it to be accessible to your needs. Not only would this be logical it would be the most ECONOMICAL. However that is a problem to banks and even “low interest lending foundations for people with disabilities” <grin> God forbid you try to borrow money twice in a short period of time, even if the sum is less than one big loan for something you don’t really need.

     For example, a previously owned and previously generically customized for wheelchair accessibility Dodge Grand Caravan SXT runs on average $30,000 yet the same year and mileage Dodge Grand Caravan SXT (even color) if bought as a previously owned ‘able bodied’ minivan and then customized specifically for Patti’s wheelchair needs would cost us a total of $22,000. The price difference represents modifications we do not need and because ‘accessible vans’ have a different supply and demand market value.

     … and a skeptical part of me believes the “accessibility” market preys on people’s needs. You get so conditioned to being screwed over medical supplies and equipment why not stick it to you for vehicles? But, then again, maybe I’m too skeptical. I’ve got to learn to stop thinking logically and economically <grin>

1 comment:

  1. If you buy a van new and have it made wheelchair accessible, you may be hit with a big luxury tax too. It happened to me.


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